Upstream Gallery proudly presents Harm van den Dorpel's second exhibition with the gallery, dedicated to his Mutant Garden software, its various material outputs and research.
Where traditional artistic mediums require the artist to create the work with their own hand, Van den Dorpel prefers to program software and trains it by looping continuous feedback through its output in order to produce works with unpredictable aesthetic outcomes. As many people nowadays equate artificial intelligence with neural networks, the artist wants to highlight other moments in this recent history of computation, approaching it as algorithmic archaeology. The latest installment in the artist’s inquiry into the history of computation is Mutant Garden, which uses an existing algorithm called ‘Cartesian Genetic Programming’ (read more below).
Mutant Garden is divided into two parts: a “garden”, where the Mutant Garden software breeds new artworks and where the different material outcomes are shown. The next room forms a “lab”, where Van den Dorpel gives an insight in his artistic process leading up to the final results, as well as showing a timeline of earlier series of works in his larger project of algorithmic archaeology.